DAVAO CITY—The Japanese government donated 35 more vehicles for emergency and rescue situations to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), as it hoped to enhance the capability of the fire-fighting agency.
The donation to the BFP this year entered its fifth year. To date, the BFP has received 76 vehicles since 2014.
The donation was done in simple rites here last week where Ambassador Koji Haneda witnessed the turnover of 15 vehicles to local governments in Mindanao. He also signed “the Project for Providing Emergency Vehicles to 20 Local Government Units in Luzon.”
The BFP was the main beneficiary of the project “as one of the agencies in the forefront of disaster response in the country [but which] has an insufficient number of emergency vehicles at its fire stations to deliver its mandate.”
“Through these projects, the Government of Japan aims to assist the BFP in addressing this shortage,” a Japanese embassy communication said.
It said the shortage “became apparent during typhoon Yolanda in 2013, after which the Embassy of Japan started extending assistance by providing emergency vehicles to the BFP.” Last year at the signing of the fourth project, “the partnership between the Embassy of Japan and the BFP was further expanded in Luzon.”
As of last year, the Embassy of Japan has provided a total of 76 units amounting to $998,357.
In 2014 it gave 17 fire trucks and three ambulances to 17 municipalities in the Visayas. The following year, it gave nine fire trucks, seven ambulances and one rescue truck to another 11 municipalities, also in the Visayas.
In 2016 two fire trucks, 14 ambulances and one rescue truck were donated to 15 municipalities in Mindanao. Last year 14 ambulances, six pumper trucks and two rescue trucks were given for the identified 20 municipalities in Luzon.
The embassy said “it is expected that a total of 6.6 million people in Mindanao and 3 million in Luzon will benefit from these projects.”
The vehicle assistance to the Philippines was done through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects which started in 1989, “for the purpose of reducing poverty and helping various communities engaged in grassroots activities.”
To date, 534 grassroots projects have been funded, the embassy said.
“Japan believes these projects will not only strengthen the friendship between the peoples of Japan and the Philippines, but also contribute to further fostering a strategic partnership between the two countries toward the future,” it added.
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